There were so many posters worthy of further analysis and discussion at ASCO this year that we may well need to write a longer series than usual on some of these hidden gems!
If you’re anything like me, just getting round the massive poster hall melée each day in one piece to nab the QR codes and chat to some KOLs felt like an achievement in itself, never mind having the time to read and digest them properly. This is why it’s nice to sit down and process some of the findings afterwards because there was actually quite a lot to learn on the nuances with later reflection.
So what’s on deck in the hot seat today?
Here, we focus on the importance of the tumour microenvironment and how that can be manipulated so that subsequent therapy can be more effective.
Fortunately, there are a number of different approaches that can potentially achieve this lofty goal, at least preclinically, but what happens in the real world when these concepts are actually tested in people with cancer?
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We’ve had a couple of requests come in for a revival of the old conference series… ‘Gems from the poster halls’ because quite a few folks are interested in the up and coming data from small to medium biotechs.
A bunch of my Post Doc chums in this field were at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium (SABCS) meeting and gleefully highlighted mobbed posters or areas where they thought the data looked potentially interesting.
From these, we selected a few for review in today’s look at the nuggets that can be gleaned from cool and intriguing trials or preclinical research that may influence future trials.
Companies covered in this article include Seattle Genetics, Jounce, Immunomedics, Syndax and MedImmune.
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Today the immunotherapy and related data flooding out of the annual meeting of the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium (SABCS) is pretty exciting!
Data was presented on a number of drugs including pembrolizumab, avelumab and atezolizumab, which put together with some recent publications, highlights some potentially exciting opportunities in this fast moving space.
Here, we explore the potential for checkpoint therapy combinations in TNBC, HER2 and even the ER+ subsets. There’s a lot of new findings to take in and contemplate here.
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Recently, Merck have been on a roll in the immuno-oncology space, with the announcement that their anti-PD–1 antibody, pembrolizumab (Keytruda), beat out BMS’s anti-CTLA4 antibody, ipilimumab (Yervoy) in a Phase 3 head-to-head frontline trial in metastatic melanoma. The two primary endpoints of OS and PFS were met and the trial will therefore be stopped early based on the IDMC recommendation. No further details are available until the presentation.
The data from the KEYNOTE–006 study is being presented at the annual American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) next month in the opening plenary session by Dr Antoni Ribas (UCLA).
While it’s nice to see evidence that one checkpoint inhibitor is potentially superior to another, in the long run, combinations are likely to be the best way forward. This approach is more likely to yield improved responses in immunogenic tumours, but also to make non-immunogenic tumours more responsive, thereby improving patient outcomes further.
This begs the all important question – what hints from new emerging data can we glean that will help us figure out novel combination approaches with checkpoint inhibitors?
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